• For those who concern themselves with those “When it’s done” exhalations emerging from certain software developers who lack foresight (much less the ability to back up their ambitions), consider the case of Duke Nukem Forever, a game that has been promised for some time. Alas, there have been a good deal of other things that have happened since the initial press release announcment. The real question is whether the game will be released before George Boussard’s ardent disciples check into rest homes — that is, assuming that they retain any keyboard-and-mouse dexterity with which to frag their opponents.
  • Pat Walsh suggests that those who purchase DVD box sets of television are evangelical fools, considering that they can TiVo these episodes. It remains to be seen whether a certain man who has revealed his own television-related nocturnal emissions will have anything to add to the matter. But I will say that my own strange stash of box sets (among the titles are Twin Peaks, The Prisoner, the Complete Monty Python’s Flying Circus, all of the so-called “definitive editions” of The Twilight Zone, and, perhaps most egregiously, Scooby Doo) have been acquired in the heat of cultural obsession. But then I have neither TiVo nor basic cable in my home and my television, for the most part, remains off. Inevitably, however, one’s mind must downshift from time to time. I fully confess that my own eight-cylinder engine stalls every now and then. And under such circumstances, I can think of no greater way to recontextualize the world than pondering the strange relationship between Fred and Daphne or ruminating upon the amount of THC contained within a Scooby snack.
  • Finn Harvor engages Laura Miller on her decsion not to participate in the Times contemporary fiction contretemps and begins a series of meditations on the publishing industry.
  • Barbara Epstein, the founder of the New York Review of Books, has passed on. Hurree Babu has more. (via Books Inq.)
  • Miss Snark declares John Updike the nitwit of the day after parsing this interview with Patti Thorn (conducted a few hours after Updike’s BEA speech). More from Bella Stander. The forthcoming Segundo interview with Updike, in which it is put forth to Mr. Updike that there is room for both print and digital, approaches this and many other topics in a decidedly less fawning manner than Ms. Thorn’s.
  • Philip Hensher remarks upon the differences between American and Anglo vernacular and suggests that both sides have much to learn. (via Booksurfer)
  • Some info on that red card-happy ref from yesterday’s game between the U.S. and Italy. Apparently, this joker Jorge Larrionda was suspended because of past irregularities. Perhaps not coincidentally, the surname “Larrionda” was briefly considered as a nom de guerre by the now dead Gaetano “Tommy Brown” Lucchese shortly before becoming the underboss of Gaetano Reina. Lucchese (who was often referred to by terrified underlings as “the Big Cheese,” which is where the term originated from) was an amateur historian and had more than a passing interest in the War of the Triple Alliance. Coincidence?

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